Altars: Do We Need Them?

Yes, I still exist.  The answer is no, we don’t.  If you’re not calling on a particular deity, then you certainly don’t.  Fantasy magic relies only on the talent of the spell-caster.  If you ascribe to a particular religion, then have an altar somewhere, particularly if there is a shortage of temples nearby.  It seems to me that an altar is merely a focal point to quiet the mind, however, concentrating ritual objects requires it, which is essentially enchanting.  However, in Skyrim, for instance, enchanting has a worktable, not an altar or shrine.  It’s up to you.

In peace,



Psychic Warfare

This is the hardest and most contentious form of magic, and there are some that would insist it isn’t magic at all.  It is probably also magic in its darkest form.  Dark magic also affects the sender, which is why I don’t advocate practicing it, even though it’s, at this point, as close as we will get to fantasy magic in this world.  But all ethical considerations aside, a lot of it isn’t practical, such as the evil eye.  In games like Skyrim, when your NPC opponent casts a damage luck spell on you, it doesn’t affect you much in the battle; you’re spells won’t work as well, and more of your strikes won’t land, but that’s it.  For us, the evil eye is a petty attack to make someone’s life difficult, or more difficult than usual.

Energy leaching, or psychic vanpirism, is mostly an unconscious attack, often by souls of the departed who haven’t left the physical plane and are desperately trying to stay here by feeding off the etheric energy of the living.  Greer explains this rather well in his book, Monsters:  An Investigators Guide to Magical Beings, but since I no longer have it, I can’t give you particulars. 

In peace,



Types of Magic

You might think that Fantasy magic (movies/RPGs) and real-world magic have nothing in common, but there is some overlap, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Fantasy magic can be best divided into ‘styles’ rather than types, and they are Harry Potter’s wand-waving, Skyrim’s fireball-flinging, and Gandalf’s vague hand gestures.  In the real world, however, magic can be divided into types.  The three broad classifications are Natural, Ceremonial, Psychic warfare.

Natural magic concerns itself with using minerals, plant and animal products, and is usually further divided into the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Every plant, mineral or animal is ruled by one of the four elements, and therefore is used in magical workings that fall under that element.  So, as an example, chamomile is ruled by Fire, and can be used in any working involving one of the goals ruled by fire, such as personal power.

Ceremonial magic is more involved and it’s defining feature is it’s reliance on recitation.  The Calling of The Quarters when drawing and charging a magic circle is a good example of this, where you call on the creatures of the Four Elements (yes, they also each rule a direction), to attend your ritual.

Psychic warfare is the use of the mind to attack or defend oneself using magic, such as psychic vampirism, the Evil Eye, and so on.  Then there is Alchemy.

Alchemy is not normally considered magic, but it does have magical applications.  Alchemy can be divided into many sub-categories, but normally it is divided into two broad classifications: physical, and spiritual.  Physical alchemy can be further divided in to sexual, herbal, animal and mineral, with the last being the only one talked about these days.  Of the latter three, herbal alchemy is usually what novices start with, and some stop there.  Animal alchemy uses animal products, and with so many species being decimated, we cannot justify exploring animal alchemy.

There are two distinct methods of plant alchemy and both of them are extremely involved, from timing, to harvesting the plant material, to actually doing the work.

By now, you’ve probably noticed the overlap between Skyrim’s magic and real-world magic, but in case you haven’t I’ll shall summarize. The areas of overlap are psychic warfare and alchemy.  The ‘energy-leach’ and ‘damaging luck’ spells are just aptly named etheric vamparism and the Evil Eye.  There’s more to psychic warfare then just these two, but we will go into those later.

In Peace


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